This just in from Knoxville Mayor Rogero's office.
The good mayor today said the city is expanding its employee benefits to include benefits for
qualified domestic partners. Beginning Jan. 1, employee medical, dental,
vision and dependent life benefits will be extended to same-sex and
opposite-sex domestic partners.
"Last year, we expanded our employee nondiscrimination ordinance to
include sexual orientation and gender identity. This change in our benefits
ensures that we are treating everyone fairly," Mayor Rogero said. "It
will help us attract and retain the best City of Knoxville employees,
regardless of their domestic situation."
City staff created the domestic partnership benefits after researching similar
benefits offered by about a dozen other cities and organizations including the
governments of Durham, N.C., Covington, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis,
as well as Maryville College.
To be eligible for domestic partner benefits, an employee must fill out an
affidavit about their committed relationship and show proof of financial
interdependence (per criteria outlined in the affidavit).
Because the change is an administrative one, it does not require a vote by City
Council. Employees can begin signing up for 2014 benefits during the city's
annual enrollment period, which begins Oct. 23rd.
Based on the experiences of other cities and organizations, the City Finance
Department estimates the new benefits may cost about $60,000 a year, which will
be absorbed into the City's current annual benefits budget of approximately $13
For non-married couples, domestic partner benefits may be treated as taxable
income by the Internal Revenue Service. Employees interested in the benefits
should research and consider the tax implications.
Among the other local employers that offer domestic partner benefits are:
Alcoa, AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, Comcast, Costco, EW Scripps
Co. (Knoxville News Sentinel), First Tennessee Bank, Home Depot, JC Penney,
Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Office Depot, Regions Bank, Scripps Interactive
Networks, Sears, Sprint, SunTrust Bank, Target Corp., UPS, Verizon, Waste
Management, and Wal-Mart (beginning in 2014).
Expect all sorts of outrage soon. Damn hippies.
Heh. This is going to be the end of the world for some folks.